It all started with the headline of an entry in Charlie Warzel’s “Galaxy Brain” newsletter. the Atlantic: “Where does Alex Jones go from here?” This is an interesting question because Jones is an internet troll so extreme he makes Donald Trump look like Spinoza. For many years, he has kept himself busy with a radio talk show and website with an occasional multi-million dollar trade in junk, conspiracy theories, lies and weirdos to a huge group of followers. And by August 4th he had gotten away with it. That day, however, he lost an epic libel case brought against him by the parents of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre — a tragedy he has consistently ridiculed as fabricating; A Texas jury ruled that they should pay approximately $50 million in damages for publishing this tragic nonsense.
Warzel’s newsletter contained an interview with someone who had worked for the Jones media empire in its heyday and was interesting as such. But what really struck me was the eye-catching illustration that led to the piece. It showed a cartoon image of a disorganized Jones in some kind of cave surrounded by papers, banknotes, prescriptions and other types of documents. Pretty cool, I thought, then looked at the caption to see who the artist was. Answer: “AI Art by MidJourney”.
Aha! Midjourney is a research lab, and also the name of its program, that creates illustrations from text descriptions using a machine learning system similar to OpenAI’s Dall-E system. so on someone the Atlantic Just type “Alex Jones under neon lights in a US office” into a text field and – bingo! – The illustration that caught my attention was one of his paintings.
For example, you could ask for a portrait of Shrek as an astronaut in the style of the Mona Lisa or Jane Austen.
it turns out that the Atlantic Not the only mainstream publication that has featured MidJourney Tool’s work. usually stand economist, for example, recently used it to produce its June 11 cover. This is important because it shows how quickly digital technologies can move from cutting-edge technology to commercialization. And new fears and hopes quickly emerge.
DAL-E (the name is a geeky combination of Pixar character WALL-E and Salvador Dali) was derived from OpenAI’s groundbreaking GPT language model, which can produce fuzzy, plausible English text. Dall-E originally swapped pixels for text and was trained on 400 million pairs of images with captions “scraped” from the internet. (The carbon footprint of the calculations involved in this process is subliminal, but that’s for another day.)
When the GPT-3 appeared, it sparked a new episode of the “enhancement versus replacement” debate. Was technology just the thin edge of a sinister nail? The GPT-3 can be used to “write” boring but useful text – such as stock market reports – but it can also generate harmful and seemingly believable propaganda that is channeled through the moderation systems of social media platforms. will slide. it can be used extend Ability of busy and overworked journalists completely away from themEtc.
In this case, however, some steam is blown off the GPT-3 controversy (although not without the question of the environmental costs of such extravagant computers). Though many skeptics and critics may scoff at human hacks, the crooked wood of humanity will outnumber machines only in numbers for the foreseeable future. Journalism schools can relax.
However, Dal-E may be a less straightforward matter. As with the GPT-3, its appearance attracted a lot of interest, perhaps because most people could write text that many of us couldn’t draw to save our lives. So, having a tool that would allow us to overcome this disability would be a great blessing. For example, you could ask for a Mona Lisa style portrait of Shrek or Jane Austen as an astronaut and again it will do its best. So you can see this as a welcome addition to human potential.
But there is also the “substitute” question. It turns out it was Warzel herself who used MidJourney’s bot to create an illustration instead of getting one from a copyrighted image bank or hiring an artist to create an image. Big Mistake: An artist saw the caption and tweeted his shock that a national magazine such as the Atlantic One used a computer program to illustrate stories rather than paying an artist to do the work, prompting other publications to do the same. Before you could even say “AI,” Warzel was playing the villain in a viral tweet storm. It was painful for her, but perhaps also a reminder that publishers who use machines rather than creative artists deserve it all.
what am I reading
Electric vehicles they are, they are more energy efficient than internal combustion engine vehicles, according to a dismal assessment of the Yale Climate Connection project.
The Efficiency Movement is a wonderful essay by Rob Miller on how all modern societies have been shaped by the worship of their efficiency.
The Nautilus site has a fascinating article on the evolutionary mysteries of menopause.